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Publication numberUS7467651 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 11/196,720
Publication dateDec 23, 2008
Filing dateAug 3, 2005
Priority dateNov 9, 2001
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS20060037667
Publication number11196720, 196720, US 7467651 B2, US 7467651B2, US-B2-7467651, US7467651 B2, US7467651B2
InventorsJoe Karkosch, John R. Kochanski, Edward Adkins, Patrick J. Barkdoll
Original AssigneeNomis Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tool attachment system and router attachment and method incorporating same
US 7467651 B2
Abstract
The present invention is directed toward a quick attach and detach mechanism for a tool attachment such as a router attachment for a router. The attachment system includes a mounting adapter which may be integrally formed with the router housing or attached to the router housing as a bolt-on plate. The system works by vertically installing the tool attachment with the mounting adapter and then twisting to secure the tool attachment to the mounting adapter. A rotational lock is provided to prevent the tool attachment from inadvertently backing off or coming loose. This lock can be manually actuated to allow for quick detachment when desired. The tool attachment system is shown in association with a router which has several disclosed benefits, however there may also be applications of the system in other types of tool attachments for which coverage is also sought.
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Claims(25)
1. A router attachment system, comprising:
a router including a router housing and a spindle, the spindle adapted to revolve relative to the housing about an axial axis;
a mounting adapter along an end face of the router housing, the mounting adapter including an annular mounting surface;
a router attachment including an attachment housing with an annular attachment surface that mates with the annular mounting surface;
wherein the router attachment is rotatable between a release position and an attach position, the router attachment being removable from the mounting adapter in the release position, the router attachment axially engaging the mounting adapter in opposing directions along the axis in the attach position for axial retention of the router attachment; and
a first snap structure on the mounting adapter and second snap structure on the router attachment, the first and second snap structures resiliently engaging at a predetermined angular position during transition between the release to the attach position, the first and second snaps creating pressure at the predetermined angular position that is released upon further movement past the predetermined angular position to provide a locking force that prevents relative rotation toward the release position when in the attach position.
2. The router attachment system of claim 1, wherein the mounting adapter includes first flanges projecting radially along the annular mounting surface, and wherein the attachment housing includes second flanges projecting radially along the annular attachment surface, the first and second flanges being axially movable past each other in the release position to permit axial removal of the router attachment from the mounting adapter, the first and second flanges interlocking with each other when in the attach position to prevent axial removal.
3. The router attachment system of claim 2, wherein the first flanges lie in a common plane substantially perpendicular to the axial axis, and wherein the second flanges lie in a common plane substantially perpendicular to the axial axis, and wherein the first flanges and second flanges are angularly spaced at equidistant angular intervals about the axial axis.
4. The router attachment system of claim 1, wherein the router attachment comprises a generally circular collar portion defining the annular attachment surface, the collar portion centrally receiving the mounting adapter.
5. The router attachment system of claim 1, wherein the mounting adapter includes a generally circular collar portion defining the annular mounting surface, the collar portion centrally receiving the router attachment.
6. The router attachment system of claim 1, wherein the annular mounting surface of the mounting adapter includes an outer radial peripheral mounting surface adapted to mate with a first type of router attachment having collar portion for centrally receiving the mounting adapter, and a central hole adapted to communicate the spindle therethrough, the mounting adapter having an inner radial peripheral mounting surface about the central hole adapted to mate with a second type of router attachment that is received centrally into the central hole.
7. The router attachment system of claim 1, wherein the mounting adapter comprises a mounting plate having a plurality of bolt holes, and a central opening adapted to convey the spindle therethrough, further comprising bolts fastening the mounting plate to the router housing.
8. The router attachment system of claim 1, wherein the mounting adapter is integrally and unitarily formed with the router housing.
9. A tool attachment for mounting to a mounting adapter along an axis, the mounting adapter including an annular mounting surface, a first snap structure and a plurality of mounting flanges angularly spaced about the axis, the tool attachment, comprising:
an attachment body including a generally circular attachment surface sized and configured to mate with the annular mounting surface; and
a plurality of attachment flanges projecting radially from the attachment body along the attachment surface, the attachment flanges being angularly spaced about the axis, a plurality of gaps defined between adjacent pairs of the attachment flanges providing sufficient clearance to receive the mounting flanges through the gaps;
wherein the tool attachment is rotatable between a release position and an attach position when situated on the mounting adapter, the tool attachment being removable from the mounting adapter in the release position, the tool attachment adapted to axially engage the mounting adapter in opposing directions along the axis in the attach position for axial retention of the tool attachment; and
a second snap structure on the tool attachment, the second snap structure located to engage the first snap structure at a predetermined angular position and resiliently snap past or into the first snap structure during relative rotation between the release position and the attach position, the second snap structure adapted to create pressure at the predetermined angular position that is released upon a further movement to create a locking force that prevents relative rotation from the attach position to the release position.
10. The tool attachment of claim 9 wherein the second snap structure is formed as one of a notch and a projection into at least one of the attachment flanges.
11. The tool attachment of claim 9, wherein the second snap structure is spaced in front of a stop abutment relative to the direction of rotational movement from the release position to the attach position such that the second snap structure is arranged to be engaged prior engagement of the stop abutment.
12. The tool attachment of claim 9, wherein the tool attachment comprises plastic material that forms the attachment surface and the plurality of attachment flanges.
13. The tool attachment of claim 12, further comprising an actuator carried by the attachment body, the actuator movable between a lock position and an unlock position, the actuator being movable between the lock and unlock positions transversely relative to the axis, the lock actuator including a stop tab projecting from the attachment surface in the lock position for engaging the mounting adapter.
14. The tool attachment of claim 13, further comprising a spring supported by the attachment biasing the actuator toward the attachment surface.
15. The tool attachment of claim 14, further comprising means on the actuator for automatically moving the actuator toward the unlock position against the bias of the spring in response to relative rotation between the mounting adapter and the tool attachment toward the attach position.
16. The tool attachment of claim 13, wherein the actuator is mounted to a bottom side of the attachment body and includes a pull tab projecting through an opposite top side of the attachment.
17. The tool attachment of claim 9, wherein the tool attachment comprises a generally circular collar portion defining the attachment surface, the collar portion adapted to centrally receive the mounting adapter.
18. The tool attachment of claim 9, wherein the attachment surface is formed into a radial periphery of the attachment body with the attachment flanges projecting radially outward, the tool attachment adapted to be inserted into an opening in the mounting adapter.
19. The tool attachment of claim 9, further comprising means for engaging a working surface and for guiding movement of a spindle of a router when attached thereto.
20. The tool attachment of claim 19, wherein the guide means comprises an annular bushing projecting downward from a generally planar bottom slide surface.
21. The tool attachment of claim 19, wherein the guide means comprises a rail extending from the attachment body and a slide selectively movable along the rail, the slide including a guide surface for engaging an edge of the working surface.
22. A tool attachment for mounting to a mounting adapter along an axis, the mounting adapter including an annular mounting surface and a plurality of mounting flanges angularly spaced about the axis, the tool attachment, comprising:
an attachment body including a generally circular attachment surface sized and configured to mate with the annular mounting surface;
a plurality of attachment flanges projecting radially from the attachment body along the attachment surface, the attachment flanges being angularly spaced about the axis, a plurality of gaps defined between adjacent pairs of the attachment flanges providing sufficient clearance to receive the mounting flanges through the gaps;
wherein the attachment is rotatable between a release position and an attach position when situated on the mounting adapter, the tool attachment being removable from the mounting adapter in the release position, the tool attachment axially adapted to engage the mounting adapter in opposing directions along the axis in the attach position for axial retention of the tool attachment; and
a resilient spring loaded actuator movable relative to the attachment body and biased toward a lock position and away from an unlock position, the actuator engaging the mounting adapter when in the attach position to prevent movement to the release position.
23. The tool attachment of claim 22, further comprising a separate actuator component mounted to the attachment body and a separate spring element having a first portion supported by the attachment body and a second portion acting on the actuator to bias the actuator toward the lock position, the actuator moving linearly relative to the attachment body.
24. The tool attachment of claim 22, wherein the actuator has stop tab projecting from the attachment surface in the lock position for engaging the mounting adapter, the stop tab moving into a recess formed in the attachment surface during transition toward the unlock position.
25. The tool attachment of claim 23, wherein the actuator has a pull tab spaced from the stop tab, wherein pulling on the stop tab transitions the actuator toward the unlock position.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

This patent application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/291,238, filed Nov. 8, 2002, now abandoned, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Nos. 60/344,570, filed Nov. 9, 2001, and is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/777,016, filed Feb. 11, 2004, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,089,978, which claims the benefit of each of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Nos. 60/446,871, filed Feb. 12, 2003, 60/505,275, filed Sep. 23, 2003, and 60/530,701, filed Dec. 15, 2003 .

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to tools and more particularly to tool attachment systems and methods for attaching and detaching tool attachments.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A router is a well known rotary cutting tool for routing a workpiece. Typically a router has a rotating bit which extends through a router base. At times it is desired to utilize a tool attachment such as a guide bushing, having a cylindrical extension, spaced around the bit, to guide the router along a template wall. The diameter of the cylindrical extension determines the distance between the bit and the template wall, which determines the resultant pattern.

Typically a guide bushing is attached to a router base by first attaching an adapter plate to the router base, and then attaching the desired guide bushing to the adapter plate, typically by fastening the bushing to the adapter plate. However, because adapter plates for particular router models and manufacturers typically have their own unique bolt patterns, retailers must stock many models of adapter plates and guide bushings.

The present invention is directed toward improvements over the prior art, which are particularly applicable to routers, and that may also have application to other forms of tool attachments.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has several aspects which are herein sought to be protected. In general, the present invention is directed toward a tool attachment and system and method for providing for quick attachment and detachment of such tool attachments, while also reliably securing and locating the tool attachment.

According to one aspect of the invention, a tool attachment is provided for mounting to a mounting adapter along a tool axis in which the mounting adapter includes an annular mounting surface and a plurality of mounting flanges angularly spaced about the axis. The tool attachment comprises an attachment housing having a generally circular attachment surface that is sized and configured to mate with the annular mounting surface of the mounting adapter. A plurality of attachment flanges project radially from the attachment housing along the attachment surface. These attachment flanges are arranged in a common plane generally perpendicular to the axis and are angularly spaced about the axis. The spacing between attachment flanges forms a plurality of gaps between adjacent pairs of the attachment flanges which provide sufficient clearance to receive the mounting flanges of the mounting adapter through these gaps.

Another aspect of this invention is directed toward a new method of releasably attaching a tool attachment to a mounting adapter about an axis. The method is directed toward a mounting adapter with an annular mounting surface and a tool attachment with an annular attachment surface. According to the method, the tool attachment is installed onto the mounting adapter along the axis to facilitate engagement between the first and second attachment service in a first direction along the axis. Relative rotation between the mounting adapter and the tool attachment is conducted to cause interlocking engagement between corresponding end flanges along the first and second attachment surfaces. This provides for retention of the tool attachment to the mounting adapter in a second opposite axial direction. Thereafter, the mounting adapter and the tool attachment are rotationally locked.

The present invention is thought to have particular application and advantages in router applications and therefore certain claims are directed toward such router attachment systems. According to this aspect, a mounting adapter is provided along an end face of a router housing in which the mounting adapter includes an annular mounting surface. A router attachment is provided that has an attachment housing with an annular attachment surface that mates with the annular mounting surface. The router attachment is rotatable between a release position and an attached position. The router attachment is removable from the mounting adapter in the release position and vertically engages the mounting adapter in opposing axial directions in the attached position. A lock is provided which locks the router attachment to the mounting adapter in the attached position to prevent relative rotation between the two components. The lock is subject to manual actuation to allow rotation between the router attachment and the mounting adapter to allow for detachment of the router attachment from the mounting adapter.

A further aspect of the invention is directed toward the router attachment system for a router comprises a mounting adapter plate that has a plurality of bolt holes and a central hole adapted for communicating the spindle of the rotor therethrough when the mounting adapter plate is mounted to the rotor housing. The bolt holes facilitate mounting of the mounting adapter to the router housing via a fastening operation. A router attachment is provided that is adapted to position the router. The router attachment attaches and detaches from the mounting adapter plate without bolts or fasteners. The rotor attachment is vertically and rotationally secured to the mounting adapter plate through engagement when attached to the mounting plate to prevent movement therebetween.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a universal router guide bushing of the present invention, attached to a router;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates a first step in aligning the universal router guide bushing of FIG. 1, with a chuck of a first dimension;

FIG. 4 illustrates a first step in aligning the universal router guide bushing of FIG. 1, with a chuck of a second dimension;

FIG. 5 illustrates a second step in aligning the universal router guide bushing of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 illustrates a third step in aligning the universal router guide bushing of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an adapter plate of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a top view of a guide bushing of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the guide bushing of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a bottom view of the guide bushing of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the guide bushing of FIG. 8;

FIG. 12 is a partial view of the adapter plate; and

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a centering pin of the present invention.

FIG. 14 is an isometric top view of an adjustable router guide attachment in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 15 is an isometric bottom view of the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 is a side profile view of the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 14, with a router attached thereto.

FIG. 17 is a bottom view the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 14, with a router attached thereto.

FIG. 18 is an end view of the rail used is the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 19 is an exploded isometric assembly view for the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 20 is a side profile view of the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 14, with a router attached thereto, being used as an edge guide.

FIG. 21 is a side profile view of the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 14, with a router attached thereto, being used as a circle compass.

FIG. 22 is a side profile view of the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 14, with a router attached thereto shown in dashed lines, with opposed ends of the rail clamped such that the rail is being used as a linear sliding guide.

FIG. 23 is a bottom view of the collar of the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 24 is an enlarged view of the locking mechanism shown in FIG. 19.

FIG. 25 is an isometric top side view of an adjustable router guide attachment in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 26 is an isometric bottom side view of the adjustable router guide attachment shown in FIG. 25.

FIG. 27 is an exploded isometric assembly view of the router guide attachment shown in FIG. 25.

FIG. 28 is another exploded isometric assembly view of the router guide attachment shown in FIG. 25, but with this illustration being shown from the bottom side.

FIG. 29 is a cross-sectional view of the router guide attachment better showing the configuration and operation of the spring loaded actuator mechanism.

FIG. 30 is a top view of the router guide attachment.

FIG. 31 is an end view of the router guide attachment.

FIG. 32 is a bottom view of the router guide attachment.

FIG. 33 is an isometric exploded view showing how the router guide attachment is mounted to a router.

FIG. 34 is a view similar to FIG. 33 except the mounting plate is shown integral with the router.

FIG. 35 is an enlarged cross-section of the mounting plate and collar portion to better illustrate vertical retention of the mounting plate to the attachment housing.

FIG. 36 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the milling system according to the present invention, with fitted, movable template and guide bar adjustable in the X-direction and Y-direction.

FIG. 37 is a top view of a preferred embodiment of the milling system according to the present invention, with examples of pattern cutouts in the movable template.

FIGS. 38-43 are a selection of combination milling patterns and variants for the use of the sample pattern cutouts according to FIG. 37 of the milling system according to the present invention, while still using the guide bar adjustable in the X-direction and Y-direction according to FIG. 36.

FIG. 44 is a top view of an additional, preferred embodiment of the milling system according to the present invention, with additional examples of sample cutouts in the movable template.

FIGS. 45-50 are a selection of milling pattern combinations and variants for the use of the pattern cutout examples according to FIG. 44 of the milling system according to the present invention.

FIG. 51 is a top view of an additional embodiment of a milling system with movable template in a base plate and also an alternative locking means.

FIG. 52 is a top view of a milling system with movable template, in which, in turn, one or more movable templates are installed.

FIG. 53 is a top view of a milling system with movable template, in which, in turn, one or more rectangular movable templates are installed, in which, again in turn, a movable template has been installed.

FIG. 54 is a top view of a rectangular milling system with movable, rectangular template, in which, in turn, a movable template has been installed.

FIG. 55 is a top view of a milling system with movable, rectangular template.

FIG. 56 is a top view of an additional embodiment of a milling system with movable template in a base plate, and also an additional, alternative locking means.

FIG. 57 is a perspective view of a particular embodiment of a milling system according to the invention.

FIG. 58 is a perspective view of a baseplate of the milling system of FIG. 57.

FIG. 59 is a perspective view of an upper side of a template of the milling system of FIG. 57.

FIG. 60 is a perspective view of a lower side of the template of the milling system of FIG. 57.

FIG. 60 a is a perspective view of a pencil guide in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 61 is a perspective view of a system for vertically supporting a rotary tool in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 62 is a perspective view of a baseplate of the system of FIG. 61.

FIG. 63 is a perspective view of a tool support of the system of FIG. 61.

FIG. 64 is a perspective view of the tool support of FIG. 63, from its underside.

FIG. 65 is a perspective view of a guide bushing of the tool support of FIG. 64.

FIG. 66 is a perspective view of a portion of a base of the tool support of FIG. 64.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail various embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiment illustrated.

A universal router bushing adapter, generally designated 10, for permitting attachment of a router guide bushing 12 to any of a plurality of routers, such as router 14, is illustrated in the FIGS. 1-13. The router guide bushing has a cylindrical extension 13. The adapter 10 comprises an adapter plate 18 having a plurality of mounting apertures 22 corresponding to mounting apertures of the plurality of spring-biased router base plates, such as base plate 23.

The adapter 10 further includes a centering bit 26 having a first end 26 a dimensioned for insertion into a router chuck 28. The router chuck 28 is dimensioned to receive a bit of a first dimension, such as ¼ inch. The centering bit 26 further includes a first centering portion 26 b spaced from the first end 26 a. The first centering portion 26 b is in the form of a frustum. The first centering portion 26 b is generally solid.

For use with a router having a chuck dimensioned to receive a bit of a second dimension, such as ½ inch, the centering bit 26 also includes a second end 26 c dimensioned for insertion into the second dimensioned chuck. The centering bit also includes a second centering portion 26 d spaced from the second end 26 c. The second centering portion 26 e is in the form of a frustum.

The adapter plate 18 includes a central aperture surface 18 a defining a central aperture 38. The adapter plate 18 further includes three lips 40 disposed along the central aperture surface 18 a to engage three respective cooperative tapered lips 44 on the guide bushing 12. Each of the tapered lips 40 includes a protrusion 40 a (FIG. 12) to engage a cooperative recess 44 a (FIG. 9) on a respective one of the guide bushing tapered lips 44. This provides a form of rotational lock that can be manually locked and unlocked.

To mount the guide bushing 12 to the router base plate 23, first the guide bushing 12 is secured to the adapter plate 18 (FIGS. 3 and 4). The adapter plate 18 is then loosely attached to the router base 23 with a plurality of screws 46. The centering bit 26 is provided and its first end 26 a is secured in the chuck. The base plate is biased by three springs 48. The spring biased base plate 23 is then depressed (FIG. 5), causing the centering portion of the centering bit 26 to enter the guide bushing 12 to center the guide bushing 12 relative to the centering pin 26. The adapter plate 18 is then secured to the base plate 23 by tightening the screws 46.

The router guide bushing 12 includes four apertures 12 a, for improved visibility. Two of the apertures 12 a are smaller, to provide space for indicia 12 b, indicative of the diameter of the cylindrical extension 13.

With the present invention, retailers no longer must stock guide bushings for many different base plate configurations. Rather, all they need do is stock the universal adapter plate, and guide bushings for the universal adapter plate. Additionally, once the adapter plate 18 is in place on the router 14, other guide bushings 12, having different cylindrical extension diameters, can be readily interchanged.

Turning to a second embodiment of the present invention, an adjustable router guide attachment 110 for a router 111 is shown in the FIGS. 14-22. The attachment 110 generally includes a router mounting adapter 112, a rail 114, a center pilot member 116, and a edge guide assembly 118.

The router mounting adapter 112 preferably comprises a quick attachment and release type of adapter as shown, which may comprise a locking and release mechanism that may be similar to that disclosed and taught in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 60/446,871, entitled “Universal Router Guide Bushing Adapter And Method” filed on Feb. 12, 2003, and as such the entire disclosure of this application is hereby incorporated by reference. The router mounting adapter 112 includes a collar 120 and a mounting plate 122, both of which may be formed of plastic material, or cast from metal material for heavier duty construction. The mounting plate 122 includes bolt holes that facilitate bolting of the mounting plate 122 to the end face of the router 111 generally concentric or coaxial about the router's spindle.

The mounting plate 122 includes retainers in the form of angularly spaced threads 124 on the outer periphery thereof, which are received by corresponding retainers in the form of angularly spaced threads 126 on the inner periphery of the collar 120. Engagement of the threads 124, 126 or other suitable form of retainers, provides for axial retention. In addition, a rotational lock 128 is provided between the collar 120 and the plate 122, which may comprise a movable catch or latch 130 which may be loaded via a spring 132 to releasably lock into a corresponding stop 134 such as a thread end face, snag or divot. In this embodiment, the spring loaded latch 130 is mounted to the collar 120, while the end stop 134 (and preferably multiple end stops 134 are provided to allow for different angular orientations although only one stop surface is needed for rotational locking) is formed in a corresponding location along the radial periphery mounting plate 122. By rotating the mounting plate 122 relative to the collar 120, the mounting plate 122 (and thereby the router 111) is removably and releasably secured to the collar 120 to provide for quick attachment and detachment of the router guide attachment 110.

It will be appreciated that the plate 122 may not be sold as part of the adjustable router guide attachment 110, since this plate 122 may be integrated into the end face of the router 111 rather than provided as a separate plate. Also, the plate may be provided from another application, e.g., such a bushing guide, and therefore another plate may not need to be provided, but only the collar 120 which interfaces and releasably locks with the plate 122. Also, the mounting adapter could take other forms such as bolting or otherwise securing the rail directly to router, but such alternatives are less preferred.

The collar 120 has a projecting mounting flange 136 to which the rail 114 is mounted 136. The rail 114 may be formed as an aluminum extruded member with dovetail or other locking type grooves 138 on opposed sides. Plastic end caps 140 may cover ends of the rail 114. To mount the mounting flange 136 of the collar 120 to rail 114, a dovetail slidable bar segment 142 is provided, which is an assembly of upper and lower component parts 142 a, 142 b is provided.

Each component part 142 a, 142 b of the bar segment 142 includes a dovetail profile 146 that is adapted to slide linearly within the dovetail groove 138 of the rail 114. The bar segment 142 includes a vertically extending shaft 144 (e.g. the threaded shaft of a bolt retained by the lower component) that is received through a corresponding hole 152 in the mounting flange 136. The top face of the slidable bar segment includes a pair of perpendicularly intersecting slots 148, 150 in the shape of a cross. The mounting flange 136 includes a complementary block portion 154 projecting vertically that is received into either of the slots 148, 150. To secure the collar 120, the mounting flange 136 is arranged on the bar segment 142, with the threaded shaft 144 projecting through the hole 152 and the block portion 154 received in one of the complementary slots 148, 150. A thumb screw 156 is threaded on the shaft 144 to attach the collar 120 and tightened to fix the position of the collar 120 relative to the rail 114. In particular, when the thumb screw 156 is not tightened down, the bar segment 142 and therefore the collar 120 may be linearly movable relative to the rail 114 through sliding contact between complimentary dovetail surfaces. However, when the thumb screw 156 is tightened, the upper segment component part 142 a is forced downwardly and the lower segment component part 142 b is forced upwardly wedging the components in the rail 114 and in effect clamping collar 120 in a fixed position relative to the rail 114.

Another aspect of the disclosed embodiment is directed toward the feature of a selectively movable edge guide assembly 118. This assembly 118 includes a linear edge guide 158 which may be formed from stamped sheet metal to provide a guide surface 161 extending in plane generally perpendicular to the linear axis of the rail 114. The linear edge guide 158 is secured to a bar segment 160, which itself comprise two component parts 160 a, 160 b, each of which includes of a complimentary dovetail profile 162 that is adapted to slide linearly within the dovetail groove 138 of the rail 114.

A handle 164 is provided that is extendible and retractable (see e.g. FIGS. 16 and 20). The handle 164 may also be part of a clamping mechanism which may be used to releasably secure the edge guide assembly 118 to selectively provide for a fixed position or for movement to adjust position. The handle 164 is pivotally mounted to a pivot pin 168, which is secured to the upper component part 160 a via a screw 172 extending through the lower component part 160 b. The screw 172 is biased in one axial direction via a spring washer 174. The handle includes a slot 170 to allow for pivoting movement of the handle relative to the pivot pin 168 and an eccentric cam surface 166 that rides against the bottom surface of the lower component part 160 b.

When the handle 164 is retracted, the bar segment 160 is relaxed allowing edge guide assembly 118 to be linearly moved and repositioned to the rail 114 through sliding contact between complimentary dovetail surfaces. However, when the handle 164 is moved to an extended position, the cam surface 166 engages the bottom surface of the bar segment 160, causing the upper segment component part 160 a to be forced downwardly and the lower segment component part 160 b to be forced upwardly wedging the components in the rail 114 and in effect clamping the edge guide assembly 118 in a fixed position relative to the rail 114.

Another aspect of the disclosed embodiment is directed toward the feature of a centering pilot member 116 which comprises two component parts 116 a, 116 b, each of which includes of the includes a complimentary dovetail profile 180 that is adapted to slide linearly within the dovetail groove 138 of the rail 114. The centering pilot member 116 also includes a cylindrical bushing 182 with a central through hole 184 that is adapted to be nailed or screwed or otherwise fastened to a working surface. The bushing 182 is received in a cylindrical cavity 186 of the member 116 to provide for rotation/pivoting movement therebetween.

A screw 188 is threaded into a threaded hole in the upper component part 116 a and may be tightened to fix the position of the centering pilot member 116 relative to the rail 114. In particular, when the screw 188 is not tightened down, the centering pilot member 116 may be linearly movable relative to the rail 114 through sliding contact between complimentary dovetail surfaces. However, when the screw 188 is tightened, the upper segment component part 116 a is forced downwardly and the lower segment component part 116 b is forced upwardly wedging the components in the rail 114 and in effect clamping the centering pilot member 116 in a fixed position relative to the rail 114.

With the foregoing arrangement, the disclosed embodiment of the router guide attachment 110 is versatile and has different operational modes. As shown in FIG. 20, the edge guide assembly 118 may be used to provide a predetermined spacing between the router 111 and an edge of a workpiece, with the edge guide 158 contacting the workpiece edge. The position of the edge guide assembly 118 can be adjusted as described above to provide the desired spacing. A linear scale (not shown) may be provided along the rail to indicate spacing. Another operational mode is shown in FIG. 21, wherein the router guide attachment 110 is being used as a circle compass to provide for circular cutting action about a fixed point. The bushing 182 can be fastened to the working surface to provide this fixed point. While in this mode, the edge guide assembly 118 may be removed or affixed to the top side of the rail, out of the way. A third mode has been shown in FIG. 22 in which the rail is used as a linear sliding guide. To accomplish this mode, the collar 120 can be released from the bar segment 142, rotated about ninety degrees and then secured back to the bar segment 142 (with the thumb screw 156 snug but not tightened). This allows for linear movement of the router 111 relative to the rail 114 and can be used to make linear cuts in a workpiece at any desired location. To hold the rail 114 stationary, one or more clamps (e.g. C-clamps) may be used to temporarily fix the position of the rail 114 to the workpiece to complete the desired cut.

Turning to a third embodiment of the present invention, a router guide attachment 210 as shown in FIGS. 25-32 attaches and detaches with a router 212 as shown in FIG. 33. The attachment 210 includes several component parts including a housing 214, a handle 216, a lock actuator 218, and a retention plate 220.

As shown, a router guide attachment preferably comprises a quick attach and release type mounting adaptor as shown, which may comprise a locking and release mechanism that may be similar to that disclosed and taught in U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/446,871, entitled “Universal Router Guide Pushing Adaptor And Method” filed on Feb. 12, 2003 or U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/505,275, entitled “Adjustable Router Guide” filed on Sep. 23, 2003, and as such the entire disclosures of these applications are hereby incorporated by reference. To facilitate quick attachment and detachment, the housing 214 includes a collar portion 222 that is adapted to rotatably engage a relatively flat circular mounting plate 224 (see FIG. 33). Both the collar 222 and the mounting plate 224 may be formed of plastic material, or cast from metal material for heavier duty construction. Mounting plate 224 includes bolt holes with the facilitating bolting of the mounting plate 224 to the end face of the router 212 generally concentric or coaxial about the router spindle. It will be readily appreciated that alternatively, the end face of the router may unitarily provide the mounting plate 224 (e.g., the mounting plate 224 may be unitarily formed into the housing of the router 212 and therefore a separate plate component may not be needed).

Mounting plate 224 provides for vertical retention through the provision of a plurality of angularly spaced flanges in the form of threads 226 on the outer circular periphery thereof, which are received by and are adapted to engage corresponding flanges in the form of angularly spaced threads 228 on the inner circular periphery of the collar portion 222. Engagement of the threads 226, 228 thereby provides for axial or vertical retention, preventing relative vertical or axial movement of the router 212 (with mounting plate 224 attached), and the router guide attachment 210, once the corresponding threads 226, 228 are rotated into engagement with one another. Referring to FIG. 35, vertical retention is further provided by corresponding chamfered surfaces 227, 229 on the collar portion 222 and the mounting plate 224 that prevent the mounting plate 224 from dropping through the collar portion 222. Alternatively, the mounting plate could include a radially outward extending top flange that may rest on the top side of collar portion 222 to provide for this retention feature.

In addition to vertical retention, a rotational lock is provided in the form of the spring loaded lock actuator 218. As shown in FIG. 28, the actuator is mounted into a bottom side cavity 230 formed into the underside of the housing 214. The cavity 230 is in the shape of a track to provide for sliding lateral reciprocating movement of the lock actuator 218. The actuator 218 includes a finger pull tab 232 which extends through a slot 234 to be exposed along the topside of the housing 214. A spring 236 supported by the housing (herein shown as a coil spring, but any type of spring including a spring integrally formed with the resilient plastic material of the lock actuator or housing may be used) biases the lock actuator 218 toward the collar portion 222. The lock actuator 218 includes a lock tab 238 at its forward end that projects through an opening through an opening into the circular periphery of the collar portion 222. The finger pull tab 232 can be manually actuated against the action of the spring 236 to retract and advance the actuator and thereby the lock tab 238 as desired. The actuator 218 a spring 236 are secured into the cavity 230 by virtue of the cover plate 220 which is screwed onto the housing 214 with screws 240.

The lock tab 238 provides a stop surface that engages a corresponding stop structure 242 on the mounting plate 224 such as a flange end face as shown, or a snag or divot in the alternative. Preferably multiple end stops structures 242 are provided, one for each different set of threads 226, 228, such that the router 212 can be mounted at a corresponding different number of angular orientations.

To facilitate attachment of the router 212 with the mounting plate 224 mounted thereto, to the guide attachment 210, the mounting plate 224 is set into the collar portion 222 and then relative rotation between the two components is facilitated to cause the threads 226, 228 to rotate pass one another. The lock tab 238 may include a cam surface 239 which engaged, by the outer surface of the mounting plate 224 initially back drives the lock actuator 218 to avoid interference with the rotational movement. Once relative rotation occurs, the lock actuator 218 automatically advances under the spring bias to move the lock tab 238 into locking engagement with the corresponding stop structure 242 once rotating there past to prevent back rotation. In addition, end of movement stops 244, 246 are respectively provided on the collar portion 222 and the mounting plate 224 that come into contact with one another to prevent over rotation of the mounting plate 224 relative to the collar portion 222. At this point, the router 212 and mounting plate 224 are rotationally locked to the housing by virtue of the lock actuator 218 being spring-biased forward and preventing the mounting plate from rotating out of position. At the same time, the corresponding threads 226, 228 axially or vertically retain the housing 214 to the router 212 and mounting plate 224.

A secondary form of lock mechanism is provided in the form of raised ribs which provide snaps 245, 247 on the corresponding threads 226, 228 of the collar portion 222 and mounting plate 224. As these snaps 245, 247 rotate past one another during the rotational movement described above, they snap past each other. This provides a secondary additional means (in addition to lock actuator 218) for rotationally locking the collar portion 222 and the mounting plate 224. Accordingly, it will be readily appreciated that redundant rotational locking means is thereby provided, however, an alternate embodiment of the invention may include only one locking means. The rotational locking facilitated by snaps 245, 247 is facilitated by virtue of the resilient nature of the material selected for the collar portion 222 and/or the mounting plate 224. As such, the rotational locking force provided by the snaps can be overcome radially (by virtue of corresponding cam surfaces on trailing faces of the snaps), which allow the mounting plate 224 to be readily detached from the collar portion 222 with manual force.

When it is desired to release the router guide attachment 210 from the router 212, it can be accomplished relatively easily simply by pulling the finger pull tab 232 thus retracting the lock actuator 218. When this happens, the mounting plate 224 and collar portion 222 are no longer rotationally locked with one another, and the router can be rotated to release the router and mounting plate 224 from the collar portion 220 of the router guide attachment 210.

The third embodiment includes an arm portion 248 extending radially from the collar portion 222. In the outboard of the finger pull tab 232 is a handle in the form of a rotatable knob 216. The knob 216 includes an axially extending threaded shaft portion 252 that is inserted into a hole 254 formed in the housing 214 and is secured thereto by a threaded fastener nut 256 on the underside of the housing 214. The knob 216 can be manipulated by hand to facilitate easier manipulation and positioning of the router when the router guide attachment 210 is mounted thereof.

The preferred embodiment of the milling system according to the present invention (FIG. 36) consists of a base plate 502 and also at least one movable template 503. The base plate can be made from, e.g., wood, aluminum, hard plastic, hard paper or another nondeformable material. The thickness of the base plate 502 and also the given template 503 should be ideally about 2-20 mm, depending on application. In this regard, both parts should have the same material thickness. In the preferred embodiment of the milling system according to the present invention, a cutout 1 has been formed in the base plate 502 in order to hold the movable template 503. The movable template 503 in the preferred embodiment of the milling system according to the present invention is circular, and fits exactly into the circular cutout of the base plate 502 when inserted. Alternatively, in an additional embodiment of the milling system according to the present invention, the movable template 503 can be formed as a polygon (FIG. 55). Accordingly, the base plate 502 will then also contain polygonal cutouts. A means for locking the plate in place (base plate/movable template) 509 is provided. This makes it possible to lock the movable template 503 for one milling pattern in a defined position to the base plate 502. Depending on the pattern to be cut, the movable template 503 is divided into several same sectors 508 of the same size. At least one pattern cutout (example) 504 is incorporated as a cutout at one precisely defined area of the movable template 503. The position of the movable template 503 can be changed after each milling process, by sliding, turning, or rotating within the base plate 502. The number of the pattern cutouts (example) 504 depends on the size of the movable template 503 and also on the complexity of the pattern to be milled. In order to attain additional versatility in the pattern, an insert 505 can be installed into a pattern cutout provided therefore.

The templates, in particular the movable template 503, are designed so that they are mutually compatible and will complement each other for the cutting of new patterns. However, this only applies to templates with the same-size template. In one particular refinement of the milling systems according to the present invention, through the use of a guide bar 513 adjustable in the X- and Y-directions, an expansion of the pattern is possible. On the base plate 502 of the milling system according to the present invention, there is a means 510 provided for securing of this guide bar. The guide bar 513 can be locked in place, for example, by use of a locking bolt 515. When this locking feature is used, the locking bolts 515 are inserted into the holes drilled for the locking unit 514. The distance between the drilled holes for the locking unit 514 is a defined value, in order to ensure the precise movement of the milling system in the X- or Y-directions. FIGS. 51-56 show additional, particularly useful possibilities for embodiments of the milling system according to the present invention.

Selection of the pattern to be milled is made by using a pattern selection sheet included for each milling system. Thus, the user can obtain information concerning which pattern cutouts (examples) 504 are needed for forming the desired pattern.

In the simplest case, the actual milling process proceeds as follows: in the preferred embodiment of the milling system according to the present invention, the base plate 502 is placed upon the workpiece, suitably aligned, and then locked in place by using threaded clamps, for example. The rotatable template 503 must remain movable mobile in this case. The size of the tracing collar 516 and also the router bit 517 to be used are suggested on the router 511 for each pattern. Then, the cutting depth of the router 511 is set. Next, the router 511 equipped with tracing collar 516 and router bit 517 is guided along the inside edges of the pattern cutouts (example) 504 belonging to the pattern in the template 503.

According to the specified cutting pattern, the movable template 503 is moved into a new position after each milling process by shifting, turning, sliding or rotating. These steps are then repeated until the desired pattern has been completely formed. For cutting particular patterns, often only partial segments of the pattern cutouts (example) 504 are needed. Based on the pattern selection sheet, the user will be able to obtain information indicating which partial segments of the pattern ring of the router are to be followed. FIG. 37 and FIG. 44 show top views of the preferred embodiment of the milling system according to the present invention, with examples of pattern cutouts (examples) 504 in the movable template 503 and also a small selection (FIGS. 38-43 and FIGS. 45-50) of patterns that can be cut with these templates. In the milling patterns according to FIGS. 38-43, a guide bar 513 is used in order to expand the milling pattern in the X- or Y-directions.

A milling system 520 for milling patterns into the workpiece 507 is illustrated in FIGS. 57-60. The system 520 comprises a baseplate 522 having an aperture 524. The system 520 further includes a template 526 disposed within the aperture 524 and positionable in a plurality of registrated orientations relative to the baseplate 522.

Referring to FIG. 58, the baseplate 522 is formed of two separable, symmetrical baseplate parts 522 a. The two baseplate parts 522 a each include a tongue 528 on one of the parts 522 a and a cooperative slot 530 in the other of the parts 522 a to receive the respective tongue 528, for interconnecting the parts 522 a together. The tongue 528 has a raised detent 528 a and the slot includes an aperture 530 a to receive the detent 528 a.

The baseplate 522 includes twenty-four recesses 534, which are sequentially labeled A, B, C, D. The template 526 includes six protrusions 536, which locate the template 526 relative to the baseplate 522.

The baseplate 522 includes opposing notches 538, and the template 526 has a center positioning aperture 524 b for aligning the workpiece 507 with the milling system 520. Additionally, the baseplate aperture 524 has a beveled aperture surface 524 a, and the template 526 has a cooperatively beveled outer surface 527.

The template has a plurality of pattern cut-outs 527. The template 526 further has an upper surface 526 a and a lower surface 526 b. The upper surface 526 a is flush. The lower surface 526 b has cored out segments 526 c to reduce material cost. The baseplate lower surface 526 b is textured.

In order to view a resulting pattern before milling the workpiece 507, a pencil guide 540, illustrated in FIG. 60 a is provided. The pencil guide 540 holds a pencil 541, or other like writing instrument. With the pencil guide 540 and the pencil 541, one can trace the pattern on the workpiece 507. The pencil guide 540 has two diameters, to vary the distance the pencil 541 is spaced from the walls of the pattern cutout 527, and hence varies the resulting pattern.

A preferred embodiment of a system 544 for vertically supporting a rotary cutting tool 546 is illustrated in FIGS. 61-64.

The tool support system 544 comprises a transparent base 548 and a three posts 550 extending upwardly from the base 548. The base has a lower surface 548 a having two, generally circular ribs 548 a (FIG. 64), raised approximately 1/20,000 of an inch. The ribs 548 a raise the base away from the template 526, so as to prevent scratching of the base 548 and maintain its transparency. The periphery of the base 548 is also beveled, to permit it to smoothly slide over surface bumps.

The system 544 further includes a tool support 552 for supporting the rotary tool 546. The tool support 552 has a plurality of sleeves 554, one associated with each of the posts 550. Each of the sleeves 554 includes first and second bushings 555 a, 555 b. The sleeves 554 slidably receive respective ones of the posts 550. The system still further includes two springs 556 disposed in respective spring sleeves 557 for biasing the tool support 552 away from the base 548. The springs 556 each have a first end 556 a disposed in the spring sleeve 557 and a second end 556 b engaging the base 548.

The system 544 also includes a gauge 560 having one end 560 a secured to the tool support 552 by a set screw 561 and the other end 560 b adapted to engage the base 548 for selectively limiting the travel of the tool support 552 towards the base 548, which sets the depth of cut into the workpiece 507. The gauge is graduated, to display the selected depth of cut.

The tool support 552 includes a threaded opening 564 to receive a threaded nose 566 of the rotary tool 546. The tool support 552 also includes a pair of handles 568 for permitting a user to move the tool support 552 relative to the base 548.

Referring to FIGS. 65 and 66, the base 548 includes a guide bushing 570 having a cylindrical nose 570 b. The diameter of the cylindrical nose 570 b determines the distance the tool bit is spaced from the walls of the pattern cutout 527, and hence affects the pattern milled in the workpiece 507. The diameter of the cylindrical nose 570 b is identified by a molded indicia I (raised or depressed) on the surface of the guide bushing 570. The guide bushing 570 is easily removable and includes three tapered lips 572 to receive a respective one of the three lips 574 on the base 548. Each of the bushing lips 572 includes a recess 572 a to lockingly engage with a cooperating protrusion 574 a on the base lip 574. A wall 575 prevents over-rotation of the guide bushing 570. Accordingly, the guide bushing 570 can readily be changed to one having a different nose 570 b diameter without the need for special tools. The guide bushing 570 includes large openings 570 a for visibility and to permit grasping to rotate the bushing 570. The guide bushing 570 a further includes indicia 570 c indicating the circumferential dimension of the nose 570 b.

The system 544 also includes a spring loaded release 576 for locking the tool support 552 in a position a selected distance relative to the base 548.

The base 548 further includes a vacuum attachment 578 to attach a vacuum device (not shown) to remove cuttings through the large openings 570 a in the guide bushing 570.

The above features and quick attachment and detachment system of the various embodiments above may be incorporated into a wide variety of different types of router attachments to include but not limited to edge guides, router tables, dato guides, elipse guides, circle compasses, and/or other such tool attachments. The embodiments shown herein are just some of the potential examples. The above features may also be incorporated into other types of tool attachments, and certain claims are directed toward these aspects.

All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.

The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8109304 *Jan 29, 2008Feb 7, 2012Paul AlvesMobile hand-held cutting device guide and support apparatus
US20090188585 *Jan 29, 2008Jul 30, 2009Paul AlvesMobile Hand-Held Cutting Device Guide and Support Apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification144/136.95, 409/182, 144/154.5
International ClassificationB27C5/10
Cooperative ClassificationB27C9/02, Y10T409/306608, B27C5/10
European ClassificationB27C5/10, B27C9/02
Legal Events
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Nov 17, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: NOMIS, LLC, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KARKOSCH, JOE;KOCHANSKI, JOHN R.;ADKINS, EDWARD;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017033/0423
Effective date: 20040303
Jun 25, 2012FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jun 23, 2016FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8